Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 1/3/2022: Smartmontools 7.3 Released and EU Tackles CAs 'Cartel'

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 166

        The Raspberry Pi turns 10, the Steam Deck reviews are here, Android is getting proper virtualisation, Arm ThinkPads are coming, and KDE is even better than ever.

      • 267: Are Specialty Distros Bad For Linux? - Destination Linux

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re going to be discussing specialty distros and the role they play in the Linux ecosystem. Are specialty distros a good thing or should they not exist? Then we’re going to take a look at some interesting Intel news regarding Intel buying Linutronix. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – February 2022 Updates

        The table above shows our articles updated in February 2022.

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

      • Linux Release Roundup #22.9: Ubuntu 20.04.4, Tilix 1.9.5, NetworkManager 1.36, and More Releases - It's FOSS News

        In the Linux Release Roundup series, we summarize the new distribution and application version releases in the past week. This keeps you informed of the latest developments in the Linux world

      • Wasmer 2.2: Major Singlepass Improvements

        The Wasmer 2.2 release features significant advancements shaping up to impact our Web3 and blockchain community in a big way. Wasmer is reintroducing Aarch64 compatibility for our Singlepass compiler. With the newly overhauled Singlepass, Web3 and blockchain developers can efficiently run Wasmer Runtime with Singepass on Windows, Linux, and macOS. The new release also fully supports the much anticipated Apple M1 processor.

      • Smartmontools 7.3 is out
    • Instructionals/Technical

      • [FranziskusKiefer] TL;DR - Hybrid Public Key Encryption

        HPKE is a CFRG in RFC 9180 that describes a scheme for hybrid public key encryption. It is co-authored by my Cryspen co-founder Karthikeyan Bhargavan and one of his PhD students Benjamin Lipp as part of his research at Inria.

        This blog post will give a brief overview of the specification and describes some use cases.

      • [BenjaminLipp] Hybrid Public Key Encryption: My Involvement in Development and Analysis of a Cryptographic Standard

        Hybrid public-key encryption as a generic term stands for cryptographic building blocks used to efficiently encrypt data to a receiver public key. They are called hybrid, because they use asymmetric and symmetric building blocks together for efficiency reasons: a public key encryption scheme or a key encapsulation mechanism is used to securely communicate a symmetric key to the receiver, and this symmetric key is used in a symmetric encryption scheme to encrypt the data. Thus, a message produced by a hybrid public-key encryption scheme consists of two parts: first, a ciphertext encapsulating the symmetric key, and second, a ciphertext encapsulating the actual data. Encrypting the data directly with a public-key encryption scheme would be much more expensive in computation time and network bandwidth.

      • Important Commands to view Hardware and System Info in Linux

        In this article, we illustrated how to collect and view information about your system and its Hardware components.

      • How to Screen Record on Your Chromebook [Ed: With 'real' GNU/Linux it's far simpler]
      • How To Install Microsoft Fonts on Manjaro 21 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Microsoft Fonts on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Manjaro Linux by default does not include the major Microsoft fonts commonly used in your installation. That happens because the font is owned by the Microsoft company and the font is not Open Source. So, if someone sends you a Microsoft Office document, most likely it will be using one of these fonts and such a document will not look correctly in Linux.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Microsoft Fonts on a Manjaro 21.

      • FinOps: Optimizing Financial Infrastructure With DevOps

        Finance is crucial in each and every segment of an organization. Be it academia or industry, there is always a need for financial backing and planning to execute a productive idea.

        In recent days, there is a lot of talk about the FinTech sector, more popularly known through the blockchain, cryptocurrency and web3 buzzwords.

        Before we proceed with this chapter, it is essential to understand that FinTech and FinOps are different. But the latter complements the other really well. FinOps can revolutionize the way FinTech works.

      • Custom Shape Tutorial - The Document Foundation Blog

        Have you ever tried to draw special and complex shapes beyond the basic offerings of LibreOffice? A custom shape of the Fibonacci spiral defined by its equation and properties with handles to reshape size? Thanks to Regina Henschel, now you have a tutorial for drawing custom shapes of your own and use them in LibreOffice.

        Currently, LibreOffice provides a lot of predefined custom shapes. They are grouped to the sets ‘Basic Shapes’, ‘Block Arrows’, ‘Symbol Shapes’, ‘Stars and Banners’, ‘Callouts’, and ‘Flowchart’. And all shapes from the ‘Fontwork Gallery’ are custom shapes too. But you can do more, much more.

      • Copy text from pictures on Linux with Textsnatcher

        Need to copy some text from an image on your Linux PC? Unsure about how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over how you can copy text from pictures on Linux!

        Please note that Textsnatcher may only work on desktop environments that use X11. If you are using a desktop environment that relies on the Wayland display server, you may not be able to extract text information from images using Textsnatcher.

      • How to uninstall apps on Linux

        If you’re new to Linux, you’re probably wondering how you can uninstall apps you’ve installed previously. This guide will go over several ways you can uninstall apps from your Linux PC.

      • How to play Terraria on Linux

        Terraria is an action-adventure video game developed by Re-Logic and published by 505 Games. The game has been ported to several platforms, including Linux. Here’s how you can play Terraria on your Linux PC.

      • How to install Wagtail on Ubuntu 20.04|22.04 - NextGenTips

        In this tutorial we are going to install wagtail on Ubuntu 20.04.

        Wagtail is a free and open-source content management system written in Python language and build on Django web framework. It offers intuitive and interactive user interface for developers.

      • How to install Flashpoint on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Flashpoint on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Install Hiawatha Web Server in RHEL 8

        You probably have heard of/or researched a number of web servers that are/or might be a perfect fit for your RHEL 8 operating system environment. The distinctive factor that ranks such web servers resides in their functional attributes or the user problems they solve.

        For instance, Hiawatha is openly acknowledged as a lightweight and open-source web server solution. It is defensively responsive to attacks like CSRF, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting (XSS).

      • How to Convert a /Home Directory to Partition in Linux

        This topic might seem a bit peculiar. I mean, why should you convert your home directory into a separate partition?

        Whenever you are installing Linux, the installer already selects the ‘guided‘ partitioning by default. When you go with this option, the installer places the home directory plus all the other system directories under the root ( / ) partition.

        While this setup works quite well, it presents a huge risk. If your system crashes or something corrupts the root partition, all your personal files residing in the home directory are lost.

        For this reason, it is important to create a separate home partition during installation. This guarantees the safety of your personal files during reinstallation of an operating system or in case the root partition crashes.

    • Games

      • Dota 2: Enjoy the Best Multiplayer Strategy Game on Linux

        Nowadays, many games are supported in Linux systems. Distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and PopOS are great with versatile hardware support and compatibility for gamers. Game clients like Steam are available in the Linux ecosystem. Dota 2 runs quite well and even better than Windows systems if you experience it after January 2022. The loading time of this game on Linux systems is blazing fast.

      • Inscryption from Daniel Mullins Games gets a Linux Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Here's your chance to help test another upcoming native Linux build, as Daniel Mullins Games have put up a Beta you can try for Inscryption. This is the massively popular game that blends together deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror.

        In the announcement they said "With Kaycee's Mod wrapping up and with some help from a new member of the Inscryption team, we are finally tackling the Mac and Linux ports. Playtesting it will help us out a lot!". You can opt-in with the password "mealwormsigil" and then give it a spin.

    • Distributions

      • Slax 11.2.0 Released: 4 New Features to Try
        The latest version of Slax (11.2.0) comes with a bunch of new additions and improvements. Here are some important features you need to know about.

        After a two-year hiatus, Slax has finally released a new version, the new and improved Slax 11.2.0. Developed and maintained by Tomas Matejicek, the portable Debian-based distro treats you with a host of improvements and new feature additions, all as a part of the Debian 11 ecosystem.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Enabling simple, cost-effective Kubernetes on IBM Z with MicroK8s | Ubuntu

          Containerisation has transformed the enterprise IT landscape, driving faster, more secure, and more predictable software delivery than ever before. Thanks to technologies like Docker, building containerised applications is easy, and many businesses are working with hundreds or even thousands of containers.

          To effectively deploy and manage all of these microservices, a container orchestration tool is essential, and Kubernetes is the leading solution. Kubernetes provides a unified way to organise deployment and lifecycle management of containers across infrastructures, while also delivering invaluable automation, scalability, and self-healing capabilities.

          Naturally, the containerisation trend has extended to IBM Z and LinuxONE users. Given the unrivalled performance, reliability, and security of IBM’s enterprise servers, many businesses rely on them for mission-critical workloads, and they are perfect platforms for modern microservices that demand highly resilient infrastructure.

          However, implementing and managing Kubernetes often involves considerable manual work, requiring a dedicated DevOps or platform engineering team and rendering container strategies time-consuming, expensive, and impractical.

          This is where MicroK8s comes in.

        • Package and run your Java Maven application on OpenShift in seconds | Red Hat Developer

          Making a container out of an application, and moving it into Kubernetes, can be a complicated task involving many tools and edits. Red Hat OpenShift makes it much easier. This article offers an exercise with a Java application that you can run on the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift. In this exercise you will:

        • Hybrid work: 5 tips for employers

          The days of working five days a week in an office are over. In the last two years, employees have learned to work in entirely new ways. They’ve proven they can engage and be productive anywhere, and there’s no going back.

          Many employees plan to use flexible work models in the years ahead, including fully remote work. Yet despite the clear benefits that remote and hybrid work can deliver, many employers remain skeptical and continue to push for what they see as normal: all employees in the office all the time.

          That’s a problem. Employees aren’t looking to return to the past. They’re seeking a new, more flexible future in which they are empowered to work when, where, and how they work best.

        • Edge computing and 5G: What's next for enterprise IT?

          The distributed, granular nature of edge computing – where an “edge device” could mean anything from an iPhone to a hyper-specialized IoT sensor on an oil rig in the middle of an ocean – is reflected in the variety of its enterprise use cases.

          There are some visible common denominators powering edge implementations: Containers and other cloud-native technologies come to mind, as does machine learning. But the specific applications of edge built on top of those foundations quickly diversify.

          “Telco applications often have little in common with industrial IoT use cases, which in turn differ from those in the automotive industry,” says Gordon Haff, technology evangelist, Red Hat. This reflects the diversity of broader edge computing trends he sees expanding in 2022.

      • Debian Family

        • The 3 best Debian-based Linux distros for everyone

          Debian is one of the oldest, most reliable, and stable operating systems out there. It offers you a complete operating system that allows you to do anything from word processing to web browsing to gaming. Debian-based systems are also generally easier to use and less error-prone. So if you’re choosing a Debian-based Linux distro, what is it that makes it the best?

          This article looks at several of the best Debian-based distributions around.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source is defined by the OSI's Open Source Definition

        Today, I submitted my candidacy for the board of the Open Source Initiative, where I hope to embody and expand upon the values expressed in this post. I plan to use this role to focus on the preservation of the fundamental values of open source, as well as using the OSI as a platform to expand open source literacy among both individual contributors and organizations involved in open source. If you have any questions about my platform, I would be happy to discuss them over email, either in private or in public. You can learn about the election and how to vote here.

      • [Subplot] Subplot news: talk, domain, Matrix

        The Subplot project gave an online talk at the recent FOSDEM about Subplot. The video of the talk is now public on Youtube.

      • Web Browsers

        • [FeistyDuck] EU plans to mandate less secure certificates in browsers

          Thus, if implemented, these plans could mean that browsers would be forced to give special treatment to TLS certificates that have been issued by entities held to a lower standard than the other certificate authorities.

          We asked the European Commission’s press office for a comment about these concerns, but the office hasn’t replied as of the publication of this newsletter.

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • Kiwi TCMS: New and updated subscription plans for Kiwi TCMS

          An active Kiwi TCMS subscription ensures a sustainable future for all open source software maintained by the Kiwi TCMS team and provides its holder with access to software versions and certain level services. Given recent changes to private container credentials we have refreshed our product and service definitions.

      • Education

        • [Rlang] Online Course R Statistics: Statistics with R

          Online course r statistics, the way analysts used to mine data has changed thanks to data science technology. It is without a doubt R is one of the most widely used languages among data scientists all around the world. A lot of data science job possibilities are being produced every day as a result of the big data boom, and knowing R programming will help you advance your career as a data scientist.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • [ExpressPharma] European medicines regulatory network adopts EU common standard for electronic product information

        The European Medicines Regulatory Network has adopted a Common Standard for the electronic Product Information (ePI) on medicines in the European Union (EU). This will pave the way for wider dissemination of the unbiased, up-to-date information on all medicines available to patients in the EU through an ever-expanding range of electronic channels, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement.

        The Product Information (PI) of a medicine includes the package leaflet for patients and the summary of product characteristics (SmPC) for healthcare professionals. These documents accompany every single medicine authorised in the EU and explain how it should be used and prescribed, the statement added.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • [CounterPunch] Antarctica: Where Realpolitik and Science Meet

        During the Cold War, it became an area of exceptional interest.€  The United States and other partners eyed off the Soviet Union, which they wished to exclude from any regulatory regime.€  In 1950, the Soviet government made it clearthat such opposition would be futile; it would be part of any such negotiations.

        Riding the wave of scientific research as part of the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), an initiative of numerous international organisations, the Soviets established the Mirny laboratory on February 13, 1956.€  This immediately caused discomfort to various participants, particularly the Australians, who had asserted a claim – unrecognised in international law – to a good deal of East Antarctica in 1933.

    • Education

      • [DanielLemire] The Canadian Common CV and the captured academy

        What the Common CV does do is provide much power to middle-managers who can insert various bureaucratic requirements. You have to use their tool, and they can tailor it administratively without your consent. It is part of an ongoing technocratic invasion.

        How did Canadian academics react? Did they revolt? Not at all. In fact, they are embracing it. I recently had to formally submit my resume as part of a routine internal review process, they asked for my Common CV. That is, instead of fighting against the techno-bureaucratic process, they extend its application to every aspect of their lives including internal functions. And it is not that everyone enjoys it: in private, many people despise the Common CV.

        So why won’t they dissent?

    • Hardware

      • From Hoverboard To Scooter | Hackaday

        I’m sure anyone who had seen Back To The Future was more than a little disappointed when “hoverboards” started appearing on the scene. They didn’t float and they looked fairly ridiculous for anyone over 12. But they have the huge advantage of being cheap and easy to find. [Made By Madman] breaks down a hoverboard for parts to make an incredible custom electric scooter.

        The first step after breaking things down for parts was to break the wheel hub motors. He pulled out the axle and started machining a new one using the lathe and a milling machine. A quick temper later, he had a sturdy steel axle. An adapter for a disc brake was milled that could attach to the wheel. The TIG welder came out to weld up a box out of some aluminum to hold the electronics. The wheel had a bracket welded on with a spring shock absorber to help smooth the ride. The fork was machined on the lathe and belt sander, but actual shocks came from an old bicycle. To attach the fork to the frame, [Madman] bends a piece of bar stock into shape; like a madman. The handlebars were taken from the bicycle and the fork was extended up to an adult height.

      • A Custom Radio And Telephone System For Glider Winch Operators

        While gliding might be the most calm and peaceful way of moving through the air, launching a glider is a rather noisy and violent process. Although electric winches do exist, most airfields use big V8-powered machines to get their gliders airborne. [Peter Turczak] noticed that the winch operators at his airfield often had to juggle multiple communication channels while pressing buttons and moving levers, all with the deafening roar of a combustion engine right next to them. To make their life easier, he built a single communication device that combines multiple radio inputs and an analog telephone.

      • Qualcomm announces FastConnect 7800 WiFi 7 & Bluetooth 5.3 solution - CNX Software

        Qualcomm has just announced the FastConnect 7800 WiFi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 subsystem for smartphones, laptops, and virtual reality headsets promising peak speeds of 5.8 Gbps as well as sub-2 millisecond latency.

        We first detailed some of WiFi 7 features such as up to 40 Gbps link, and real-time capabilities when MediaTek showcased its future 802.11be compliant Filogic processor to customers, so it should be no surprise that Qualcomm had been working on its own solution, and announced it at Mobile World Congress 2022.

      • HVTPI Primer And Toolkit Equips You For BOM Substitutions | Hackaday

        Novel programming interfaces for MCUs might catch us by surprise, but then we inevitably get up to speed with the changes required. Today’s bastion is HVTPI – a “12V reset” addition to the TPI we’ve just started getting used to, and [Sam Ettinger] has shared a simple circuit to teach us all about it, along with PCB files and detailed explanations of how it all works.

        HVTPI is an add-on on top of TPI, for which, as Sam explains, you need to hold RST at 12V when TPI would have it be low logic level, and leave it at Vtarget otherwise. For that, he has designed a variety of interposer boards of various complexity and requirements; explaining the choices behind each one and clearing up any misunderstandings that might occur on your way. All of the board files (and the TPI write-up copy) are caringly shared with us in a git repository, too! As a result, if you have an USB-ASP or an Arduino available, now you also have everything to do HVTPI, thanks to Sam’s work and explanations.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • [Orac] About that magical mystical “natural immunity” against COVID-19

        Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed the resurgence of messaging that emphasizes “natural immunity” as being superior to vaccine-induced immunity to COVID-19, particularly for the more recent variants of SARS-CoV-2, such as Delta, Omicron, and, most recently, the Omicron subvariant BA.2. For example, Jeffrey Tucker published an article at the Brownstone Institute website asking “Are They Finally Admitting Natural Immunity?”, as though public health officials have somehow been “covering up” this “natural immunity”, the better to keep enforcing “lockdowns” and masking and vaccine mandates. (Translation: “Natural immunity” is the way out of the pandemic that “they” don’t want you to know about.) Meanwhile, conservative-leaning mainstream media outlets like€ Fox News€ and€ The Wall Street Journal€ have had a number of stories and articles touting “natural immunity”, with, as just one of many examples, Johns Hopkins surgical oncologist€ Dr. Marty Makary€ having€ tried to portray€ a “high cost of disparaging natural immunity to COVID-19” and claiming that public health officials have “ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated”. This narrative has, in particular, been deployed to defend the€ Canadian trucker convoys€ that recently€ besieged Ottawa€ and, just across the river from me in Windsor,€ blocked the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit€ in order to protest Canadian vaccine mandates.

      • [TruthOut] A Quarter of Young Americans Say Medical Debt Forces Them to Skip House Payments
      • [TruthOut] California “Freedom Convoy” Cancels Trip to DC, Citing Low Participation
      • [CounterPunch] How Nanoplastics Enter the Human Body

        Wind and storms carry particles shed from plastic items and debris through the air for dozens, even hundreds, of miles before depositing them back on Earth. Dongguan, China; Paris, France; London, England; and other metropolises teeming with people are enveloped in air perpetually permeated by tiny plastic particles small enough to lodge themselves in human lungs.

        Urban regions are especially replete with what scientists believe could be one of the most hazardous varieties of particulate pollution: plastic fragments, metals, and other materials that have shed off synthetic tires as a result of the normal friction caused by brake pads and asphalt roads, and from enduring weather and time. Like the plastic used to manufacture consumer items and packaging, synthetic tires may contain any number of a manufacturer’s proprietary blend of poisons meant to improve a plastic product’s appearance and performance.

      • [CounterPunch] A U.S. Epidemiologist, Rich DiPentima, Talks About the “Next” COVID-19 Pandemic

        Dipentima: With smallpox, the only reservoir was humans and thus after the last human case the virus in the wild was eradicated. Diseases like COVID-19, influenza and many others have multiple primary and secondary reservoirs causing the viruses to live, multiply and spread to other animals even when the hosts do not become ill. In some cases, various strains of a virus can mix within a single reservoir and exchange genetic material, creating a novel virus.

        Rosenberg: Are these risks growing and if so, what are the factors?

      • [TruthOut] As Mask Mandates End, COVID Experts Fear It's Too Soon
      • [TheNation] Texas Democrats Are Out to Prove “Medicare for All” Is a Winning Issue

        The coronavirus pandemic is a lingering reality that will play an outsize role in the 2022 midterm elections. But it is a different issue than it was in 2020, when Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could simply promise to do a better job than Donald Trump. In 2022, Democratic candidates have to not just be against the dishonest and dysfunctional responses of Republican ideologues to the pandemic. They have to be for an agenda that assures this country is prepared to respond to the ongoing threat posed by Covid-19 variants and the prospect of future pandemics that could be even more deadly.

      • [uniStanford] Idiocracy: is the decline in human intelligence undermining democracy?

        The missing piece of information is that all humanity is now engulfed, 24/7, in a flooding tide of toxic chemistry – a tide five or six times larger than our climate emissions, and more deadly than any previous threat to human existence. An environmental threat that, according to WHO, kills over thirteen million people every year – the worst death toll from a single cause in human history – and disables 600 million more. Why electors should vote for such an outcome for themselves and their children demands explanation.

        One explanation may be that our intelligence, the quality that humans have most prided themselves on down the ages, is in decline.

      • [Today] Brain ‘clutter’ can impact memory: How to keep your mind sharper

        To remember well, you have to efficiently retrieve a memory from your brain. But what if that memory comes with lots of baggage or clutter?

        That’s what researchers believe is happening when healthy older adults try to recall information, but have a harder time doing it than younger people.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • [DanielLemire] Enforcement by software

          People seem to think that if the software requires some document, then surely the rules require the document in question. That is, human beings believe that the software must be an accurate embodiment of the law.

          In some sense, software does the policing. It enforces the rules. But like the actual police, software can go far beyond the law… and most people won’t notice.

        • [TheVerge] A ransomware group paid the price for backing Russia [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The leaked data contains over a year’s worth of chat logs from the open-source instant messaging service Jabber, containing messages between at least 20 chat handles presumed to belong to members of the gang. Among other things, these logs seem to confirm a chain of command linking Conti to Russian intelligence agencies. According to Christo Grozev, executive director of open-source intelligence research group Bellingcat, the chat logs show that members of Conti tried to [crack] a Bellingcat contributor on the orders of Russia’s main internal security service, the FSB.

          Russia has been widely criticized for harboring cybercriminal groups in the past, and with certain exceptions — notably the public takedown of the REvil [cracker] group by the FSB in January — they are largely allowed to operate with impunity provided they refrain from attacking domestic targets. But while proximity to the Russian government has been an advantage for cybercriminals in the past, there are some signs that the dynamics of the Ukraine invasion are turning it into a liability.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • [Techdirt] Half Of the Major Internet-Connected Security Systems Are Vulnerable To Jamming

              As usual, the “smart” home isn’t always all that smart, and dumber technology can often be the best option. That’s certainly true in the smart lock realm, where studies repeatedly have shown that many major smart lock brands are easily compromised. The same has reportedly been proven to be of most other “smart” devices, whether it’s smart refrigerators, smart televisions, or even smart Barbies.

            • [CoryDoctorow] Amazon's $31b "ad business" isn't

              Nearly all of that $31b is for an "ad" on Amazon itself: that is it's Amazon collecting billions from the sellers who rely on the company as their main retail channel, who are locked in a bidding war to buy the top spots in search and product pages.

              This is a huge shift for Amazon in every way. In 2015, the company was booking $1b in annual ad revenue. The explosive growth of ad revenue was accompanied by an increasing presence of third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers: 3% in 2000, 60% today.

            • Bahraini Journalists and Activists Hacked With Pegasus

              Pegasus, the malware developed by NSO Group, was responsible for the hacking of three Bahraini dissidents, according to an extensive study published on February 18, 2022 by The Citizen Lab. Two of the three activists have given their permission to be identified.

              NSO Group is an Israeli security company that has created a spyware programme known as Pegasus. The NSO Group asserts that they exclusively sell Pegasus to governments for the purpose of fighting terrorism in their own countries. However, since the name Pegasus has been made public, it appears that the majority of its applications have been in violation of human rights.

              As previously reported on LinuxAndUbuntu, Pegasus has been used to eavesdrop on journalists, activists, and members of opposing political parties all across the world. Recently, hundreds of incidents have surfaced in which Pegasus was utilised to uncover critical information on government targets. In numerous situations, as as the three Bahraini journalists, Apple told their users that their governments had hacked their devices.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • [CounterPunch] France Withdraws From Mali, But Continues to Devastate Africa’s Sahel

        Macron€ said€ that France had to withdraw its troops because it would no longer like to “remain militarily engaged alongside de facto authorities whose strategy or hidden objectives we do not share.” A€ statement€ appeared on the French government website signed by the European Union (EU) and by the African Union (AU) that made the same point, namely that “the Malian transitional authorities have not honored their commitments.”

        The language used by Macron and included in the AU and EU statement shows a lack of transparency about the real reasons behind the withdrawal of troops from Mali. The government of Mali (“de facto” and “transitional”) came to power through€ two€ coups d’état in recent years: Colonel Assimi Goïta, leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People of Mali, carried out the first€ coup€ in August 2020 against the elected government and installed Bah Ndaw, who was a military officer, as the interim president of Mali. Ndaw was then overthrown in a second coup in May 2021, when Goïta took over the€ position€ of interim president himself. By June, the European countries insisted that the new military junta hold elections by February 2022. Goïta€ said that he would honor this timeline. He did not do so, which gave the EU and the AU the excuse to break links with Goïta’s government.

      • [DemocracyNow] Putin Puts Russian Nuclear Forces on High Alert as Resistance to Ukraine Invasion Grows

        Following a wave of peace rallies held across the globe this weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has agreed to diplomatic talks with Russia. This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin placed Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert on Sunday, citing increasingly tightened international sanctions. We speak with Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, who says it’s not clear whether Putin is using a nuclear threat to topple the Ukrainian government or pressure them into a deal. Lieven also speaks about Belarus’s support of the Russian invasion and argues future protests inside Russia against the war will be greatly influenced by Western sanctions.

      • [CounterPunch] Putin's Quagmire, Turkey's Gain?

        SWIFT Decision, Sanctions, and a Ukrainian Jihad?

      • [TheNation] The Book Arsenal: A Dispatch From the Cultural Front in Kyiv

        A decade ago, I was in Paris attending the Salon du Livre, France’s largest book convention, which gathers publishers from all over the world.

      • [CounterPunch] 15 Nuclear Reactors in the Midst of Battle

        A complicating/dangerous aspect of Russia’s invasion is the status of Chernobyl’s sister reactors, 15 reactors at four nuclear power plants exposed in a war zone of bombing, missile attacks and rampant gunfire or perhaps a breakdown of crucial infrastructure that keeps super hot atom-splitting vessel containers and spent fuel rods in open pools of water cool enough to prevent a massive zirconium fire or hydrogen explosion that spews radiation across the countryside.

        With an odd twist of bad is good for the enemy, Ukraine’s rickety Russian-designed nuclear power plants serve as a defense mechanism for Putin’s armed forces, essentially prohibiting any involvement by NATO forces that must know that the worst possible tactic would be to escalate warfare in Ukraine with 15 vulnerable nuclear reactors in the line of fire.

      • [CounterPunch] 15 Bad Ukraine Narratives

        Who should you oppose? All of the above. People of the West, fight your own capitalist-imperialist governments and social orders. People of Russia, resist your own capitalist-imperialist government and social order. People of the world: struggle against capitalism-imperialism, which is leading human civilization to literal ruin through war, poverty, and ecocide. When and where did we ever ask for all this dehumanizing madness and depravity? Do not lose sight of the real enemy: the ruling classes and their chaotic, parasitic, and exterminist world capitalist system, in whose darkening shadow we live.

        As a couple of smart young German philosopher-activists wrote in 1848: “The working people have no country…. Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.”

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | Ukraine Maps Tell a Different Story Than Putin's Claims

        As a geographer who has studied and taught about interethnic conflict around the world, and as a U.S. citizen with family roots in East-Central Europe, I've always read the stories told in the maps.

      • [GreenPartyUK] Greens call for UK to follow EU leadership on asylum for Ukrainians

        Green spokesperson on Migration and Refugee Support, Benali Hamdache, said:

      • [TruthOut] Here’s an Action the UN General Assembly Can Take Against Russia’s Invasion
      • [Meduza] ‘We know the value of peace’: Meduza looks back on 22 years of anti-war statements from Russia’s Vladimir Putin

        Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24. Since then, Russian officials have framed this attack a “special military operation” — although it is in fact a full-scale war (you can read the latest news about it here). In light of these events, we decided to take a look back on what Vladimir Putin has said about war during his 22 years in power. Meduza shares highlights from the Russian leader’s anti-war rhetoric here.

      • [Meduza] ‘It’s not our war — it’s Putin’s war’: What would Boris Nemtsov say about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? We don’t have to wonder.

        On February 27, 2015, politician Boris Nemtsov was murdered in the center of Moscow. In the final years of his life, he advocated against the military conflict in East Ukraine, vocally supported the 2014 Maidan Revolution, and frequently gave interviews with Ukrainian journalists. In the months leading up to his murder, Nemtsov was working on a report about Russian military intervention titled “Putin: War,” which was posthumously published by his colleagues. To mark the anniversary of his murder, Meduza is publishing some of the anti-war statements Nemtsov made in the months leading up to his death.

      • [CommonDreams] 'World Is Racing Toward the Cliff': Belarus to Host Russian Nuclear Weapons

        Anti-nuclear groups on Monday decried a referendum in Belarus allowing for the country to host nuclear weapons, as the European Union warned the development puts the entire planet on a "very dangerous path."

        "This move by [Lukashenko] is concerning at any time but particularly alarming given Putin's recent nuclear escalation in words and actions."

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | So This Is What It Looks Like When the Corporate Media Opposes a War

        Having worked inside mainstream U.S. media during the beginning of the "War on Terror" and run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the differences in today's war coverage are dizzying to me.

      • [CounterPunch] Putin has Gambled Everything on His Snap-Invasion of Ukraine, Now His Political Survival in Russia is in Doubt

        Moscow is seeking a decisive victory with the overthrow of the Ukrainian government and the surrender of its army. “What we’re talking about is preventing Nazis and those who push methods of genocide to rule in this country,” said foreign minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday. “Right now, the regime that is located in Kyiv is under two mechanisms of external control: first, the West, led by the United States, and secondly, neo-Nazis.”

        Talks would only begin when the Ukrainian army laid down its arms. These are maximalist targets that are unlikely to be achieved by 190,000 Russian troops who are under orders to overrun and pacify a country nearly three times the size of Britain and with a population of 44 million.

      • [CounterPunch] Crisis Over Ukraine: A Primer

        Q: Briefly, what is the recent historical background to this conflict?

        A: The 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine brought to power hardliners who adopted policies detrimental to the Russians living in the eastern part of the country, especially banning the Russian language in all areas of life.

      • [Site36] Ukraine war: Turkish armed drones allegedly still in use

        The government in Kiev publishes pictures of drone attacks on Russian invaders, who in turn report the shooting down of several „TB2“. It is doubtful that the weapon is decisive, as it was in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, its current use is likely to further boost exports.

      • [Techdirt] As War Rages On In Ukraine, Don’t Forget The Real Victims: Disney’s Profits

        Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve spent the past week following the news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and feeling mostly helpless about such tragic events. On the other hand, Disney wants you to remember the€ real€ tragedy happening here: how this invasion might negatively impact€ its profits. As Jamie Love points out on Twitter, Disney Music Group’s Peter Jansson sent an email to a public mailing list to highlight what really matters here: the lack of royalties that will be coming from Russia and Ukraine.

      • [Techdirt] Pentagon Publication: Young People Getting Injured At Basic Training Because Of 'Nintendo Generation'

        If any take has been evergreen over the past few decades, it’s that video games are the source of all the problems with the youth these days. If you want to take that further, you can boil it down to, “that thing kids enjoy but I didn’t grow up with is the reason why everything is terrible.” You see this all over the place. The New York Times thinks the pandemic made all the kids play all the video games all the time creating all the problems. Established politicians say video games are the reason we have gun violence in America. Even cute little fascists like Josh Hawley, who appears to be what would happen if you took an image of Slender Man and gave him human-like features, says that video games contribute to a loss of manliness in America.

      • [MintPressNews] The Ukraine Crisis with Dan Cohen and Scott Ritter
      • [MintPressNews] Chris Hedges: Russia Was Baited Into War but That Does Not Absolve Its Criminal Aggression

        Preemptive war, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, is a war crime. It does not matter if the war is launched on the basis of lies and fabrications, as was the case in Iraq, or because of the breaking of a series of agreements with Russia, including the promise by Washington not to extend NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany, not to deploy thousands of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, not to meddle in the internal affairs of nations on Russia’s border and the refusal to implement the Minsk II peace agreement. The invasion of Ukraine would, I expect, never have happened if these promises had been kept. Russia has every right to feel threatened, betrayed, and angry. But to understand is not to condone. The invasion of Ukraine, under post-Nuremberg laws, is a criminal war of aggression.

      • [CommonDreams] ICC to Launch Probe of Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

        Amid growing outrage over alleged war crimes by the Russian forces engaged in an air and ground assault of Ukraine, an international prosecutor announced Monday that he intends to launch an investigation.

        "I have decided to proceed with opening an investigation into the situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible," Karim A.A. Khan of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said in a statement, after reviewing his office's initial findings.

      • [CommonDreams] Ukraine's UN Ambassador Says Putin Should Off Himself Like Hitler

        Amid rapidly escalating fears of global nuclear war, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations on Monday suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin should follow in the footsteps of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

        Echoing the condemnation of anti-war activists worldwide, the Ukrainian ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, called Putin's Sunday decision to put Russian nuclear forces on special alert "madness."

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | 'War Is a Crime'—The Belmarsh Tribunal Demands Accountability for the War on Terror

        Friday was another day in what has been a constant stream of escalations of the horrifying war in Ukraine. As Putin continued his military assault on Russia's neighbor, Biden retaliated with sanctions which will inflict misery on the average Russian. Social media has seen a flood of people calling for sanctions, and some are even urging NATO to intervene militarily in the war. As all this played out, a collection of people gathered in New York City with the belief that it is still possible—and necessary—to oppose war.

      • [CommonDreams] 'Haunting' Footage Shows Apparent Cluster Bombing of Kharkiv

        Russia's Monday bombing of Ukraine's second-largest city involving the suspected use of cluster munitions and the alleged targeting of civilian infrastructure drew outrage as the military assault showed no signs of waning on its fifth day.

        The death toll from the strikes on the eastern city of Kharkiv—which came amid peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations—was unclear, with some Ukrainian officials estimating the figure to be in the dozens.

      • [Hungary] A raid, a premises search, and the arrival of a war – the third week of the campaign in five points

        The second week of the official campaign period may have left us a bit bewildered. Several events took place that were not associated with the competing parties, but which will undoubtedly influence voters: the Ukrainian-Russian war is, of course, the most significant, but the premises search and accusations made against Csaba Horváth and the tax authority's investigation of Gábor Iványi were all embedded in an electoral context. In this installment of the five-point campaign update, we will also take a look at the latest opinion polls, the national party lists that are coming together, and the schemes of smaller and non-existent parties. Translated by Dominic Spadacene

      • [Hungary] My husband stayed at home to watch over our house. And Kyiv.

        Translation by Andrea Horváth Kávai.

      • [TruthOut] Russian Climate Delegate Apologizes for Assault on Ukraine
      • [TruthOut] Putin Puts Russian Nuclear Forces on High Alert as Resistance to Invasion Grows
      • [TruthOut] “Low-Yield” Nuclear Weapons Could Pose Greater Threat of Nuclear War
      • [CounterPunch] Putin's Cold, Cold Strategy

        Pity the poor people that Vladimir Putin considers family. It’s like discovering one day that you’re related by blood to a clan of mobsters. Worse, somehow you have pissed off the godfather. That’s when you find out that family ties dictate that he rub you out in an honor killing. It’s a connection made by blood and severed in blood.

        Sorry, comrade, that’s just the way it is sometimes with family.

      • [CounterPunch] Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Violates International Law. Does It Matter?

        U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres put them to the test on Feb. 24, 2022, when he called on Russia to stop its fast-moving ground invasion of Ukraine.

        “The use of force by one country against another is the repudiation of the principles that every country committed to uphold. This applies to the present military offensive. It is wrong. It is against the (United Nations) Charter. It is unacceptable. But it is not irreversible,” Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

      • [CounterPunch] Truckers, Tractors, and Ukraine: What Do They Tell us About Democracy?

        But it’s complicated. Things always are in a democracy. Convoy organizers announced the participation of thousands, but trucker reality – a need to work and the in-progress lifting of mandates – is sapping those numbers. Some outside interests are supporting the convoys for their own political reasons, eroding protest credibility. But most importantly, the organizers have promised to remain peaceful.

        This moment conjures thoughts of “Tractorcade.” In 1978, after a catastrophic collapse of American agricultural prices, thousands of farmers from across the U.S. drove their tractors to the capital. They were asking for a pricing parity policy to enable farmers to earn a fair wage, and for country-of-origin labeling to promote American produce.

      • [CounterPunch] Holodomor Belies Putin’s Words and Actions on Ukraine

        On July 12, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an article “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” in which he stressed the powerful ties uniting both countries. A one-sided, rambling historical description of the special relationship between them, the article stated that, “In 1922, when the USSR was created, with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic becoming one of its founders, a rather fierce debate among the Bolshevik leaders resulted in the implementation of Lenin’s plan to form a union state as a federation of equal republics. The right for the republics to freely secede from the Union was included in the text of the Declaration on the Creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and, subsequently, in the 1924 USSR Constitution. By doing so, the authors planted in the foundation of our statehood the most dangerous time bomb, which exploded the moment the safety mechanism provided by the leading role of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) was gone, the party itself collapsing from within.”

        Although there are obvious historical ties with the Ukrainian people, Russia’s continuous claims of brotherly relations with Ukraine dismiss the lasting trauma created by the Soviet Union during the Holodomor Great Famine that lasted from 1932 to 1933. According to a United Nations statement signed by 25 countries in 2003, 7-10 million people died during that famine.

      • [CounterPunch] Putin and Agamemnon

        Putin reminds me a bit of Agamemnon in the play of Aeschylus:

        Agamemnon returns victorious to his home city Argos from the despoliation of Troy, bearing with him in his boat the daughter of the king & queen of Troy, the prophetess Cassandra to serve as his concubine.

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | How the US Started a New Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It

        The defenders of Ukraine are bravely resisting Russian aggression, shaming the rest of the world and the UN Security Council for its failure to protect them. It is an encouraging sign that the Russians and Ukrainians are holding talks in Belarus that may lead to a ceasefire. All efforts must be made to bring an end to this war before the Russian war machine kills thousands more of Ukraine's defenders and civilians, and forces hundreds of thousands more to flee.

      • [CommonDreams] Half Million Ukrainian Refugees and Counting, Says UN Office

        Amid repeated calls for borders to be kept open to those fleeing Russia's military attack, the United Nations refugee agency said Monday that more than 500,000 refugees have so far fled from Ukraine and crossed into neighboring countries.

        The latest figure from the UNHCR came just four days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | Putin's Most Dangerous Fan Is Donald J. Trump

        As I write this column on February 27, 2022, President Vladimir Putin has put his nuclear deterrence forces into high alert.

      • [CommonDreams] War in Ukraine Shows Need for 'Rapid Move' to Renewables: European Advocates

        As Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutal attack of Ukraine continued Monday, a European nonprofit urged an immediate cease-fire while arguing that a swift global transition to renewable energy is essential for peace.

        "The time for renewable peace has come."

      • [FAIR] Foreign Agents Designation Causes Media Cold War

        Most nations have some form of state media. These days, it’s pretty easy for Americans to access any number of foreign state media outlets, and many of them have journalists covering US affairs. Some of those journalists must register as “foreign agents” with the US government. But others don’t have to—a distinction that has more to do with geopolitics than with journalism.

      • [TheNation] Chronicles of Russian Resistance

        On the night of February 23, Ukrainian wartime president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation and, at the end of his speech, turned to Russian citizens. “Do the Russians want this war? The answer depends on you,” he said. The next day, the answer came with a vengeance.

      • [TheNation] Red Flag!
      • [CommonDreams] Psaki Says Biden Has No Intention of 'No-Fly Zone' for Ukraine

        Emphasizing U.S. President Joe Biden's desire to avoid a war with Russia, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeatedly made clear Monday that the administration does not plan to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

        Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-awaited invasion of Ukraine last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Biden and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to take such action.

      • [RTL] Belarus votes to give up non-nuclear status

        Belarusians voted Monday to allow the country to host nuclear weapons and Russian forces permanently, results showed, part of a package of constitutional reforms that also extended the rule of leader Alexander Lukashenko.

      • [TheStrategist] How digital media could help end the conflict in Ukraine

        Despite advancements in ‘deep fake’ technology, video is a powerful weapon for the truth. One of the defining images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest is video (and stills) of a lone Chinese citizen holding up a column of tanks. During the 2011 Arab Spring, mobile phone video footage was sent out on social networks over the internet, bypassing state media. Al Jazeera, one of the most trusted news sources in the Arab world, amplified those messages and provided a window into events for many in the West.

      • [C4ISRNET] US Army cyber conference seeks to bolster holistic national cybersecurity

        The Jack Voltaic series, developed by the Army Cyber Institute at the U.S. Military Academy to game out the state of cybersecurity at local ports, kicks off its next conference Feb. 24 at The Citadel military college in Charleston, South Carolina.

        The exercise has thus far focused on defending critical infrastructure across two cities — Charleston and Savannah, Georgia — allowing them to gain a better understand of incident management if a cyber disruption occurs.

        Army Cyber Command, as well as the Guard and Reserves, have cyber protection teams that hunt actors on Defense Department networks and eradicate threats. This exercise could provide insights as to how to better use and deploy those teams.

      • [DefenseNews] European Union cyber defense team deploys to aid Ukraine

        Several European Union member states are activating a team of specialists to help Ukraine ward off Russian cyberattacks, which have previously accompanied kinetic combat ordered by Moscow.

        The Defence Ministry of Lithuania — the lead nation for the Cyber Rapid Response Team project — announced the move Tuesday, saying the Ukrainian government requested the aid. Croatia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania also are part of the project, sponsored by the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation defense and security initiative.

      • Human Rights Groups Report Use of Cluster & Vacuum Bombs Technology in Ukraine

        Cluster and vacuum bombs were used on Ukrainian civilians on Monday, according to human rights organisations and Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States of America. Several international groups have strongly denounced the use of these weapons systems.

        According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Russian forces appeared to have used cluster munitions, which are prohibited under international law. Amnesty International accuses the Russian government of striking a preschool in northeastern Ukraine while civilians were taking refuge within the building.

        Following a meeting with members of the United States Congress, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, told reporters that Russia had deployed a thermobaric weapon known as a vacuum bomb.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [CNN] How CNN geolocates and verifies social media footage from Ukraine

        From TikTok videos of tanks in Belgorod to Telegram clips of strikes near Kyiv, social media footage has played a key role in the news coverage of Ukraine, revealing new attacks and military movements.

        But making sure the videos and images are real, accurate and correctly labeled is crucial amid a misinformation campaign that surrounds Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

        CNN's investigative team has been monitoring the constant stream of information from social media by using several tools to filter through the noise and select relevant videos for our coverage to geolocate and verify.

      • [Gannett] Sean Penn calls Russian invasion of Ukraine 'a brutal mistake' while filming documentary there

        The Office of the President wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that the actor and filmmaker attended news briefings, met with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and spoke to journalists and military personnel about the Russian invasion.

      • [Gannett] Fact check roundup: What's true and what's false about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

        Here’s a roundup of claims related to the Ukraine-Russia conflict analyzed by the USA TODAY Fact Check team: [...]

      • Digital Transparency: A Right to Information Report for February 2022

        For the month of February 2022, IFF has filed 36 RTI requests and 4 first appeals. In response to our Right to Information request on the cap on [dot]in registrations, the National Internet Exchange of India cited national security as a reason and failed to provide any legal basis for their undated notice.

    • Environment

      • [NBC] Fast changes, food woes and who’s vulnerable: 7 big takeaways from the U.N. climate report

        The alarming assessment, produced by a global consortium of 270 scientists as part of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is a comprehensive analysis of how extreme weather events, rising seas and other effects of global warming are threatening communities and the natural environment — and the future consequences, if the world does not act quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

        U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the more than 3,600-page report "an atlas of human suffering" and a "damning indictment of failed climate leadership."

      • [BBC] Climate change: IPCC report warns of ‘irreversible’ impacts of global warming

        Many of the impacts of global warming are now simply "irreversible" according to the UN's latest assessment.

        But the authors of a new report say that there is still a brief window of time to avoid the very worst.

        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that humans and nature are being pushed beyond their abilities to adapt.

      • [RTL] Key IPCC findings on climate impacts

        With nearly half the world population "highly vulnerable" to severe climate shocks and nature facing in some cases irreversible threats, UN experts unveiled Monday a harrowing picture of global warming impacts.

      • [RTL] US Supreme Court to hear high-stakes environmental case

        The conservative-dominated US Supreme Court is to hear an environmental regulation case on Monday with potentially far-reaching implications for the Biden administration's fight against climate change.

        The high-stakes case concerns the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, which produce nearly 20 percent of the electricity in the United States.

      • [CommonDreams] 'All Hands on Deck Now!': IPCC Report Spurs Global Demand for Rapid Climate Action

        Grassroots leaders of the global climate movement said Monday that the latest grave findings issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change represent yet another call to action that can't be ignored if billions are to be saved from catastrophic extreme weather, pollution, and other impacts of continued fossil fuel use.

        "It is a disgrace that decades of cowardly decisions by rich industrial nations have led us here."

      • [CommonDreams] UN Chief: IPCC Report a 'Damning Indictment of Failed Climate Leadership'

        A landmark scientific report published Monday warns that the human-caused climate crisis is driving a "dangerous and widespread disruption in nature" and impacting billions of lives across the globe, emergencies that can only be redressed by immediate and sweeping action that world leaders have thus far failed to take.

        The product of years of collaborative research by scientists from around the world, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report "emphasizes the urgency of immediate and more ambitious action to address climate risks," said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC.

      • [CommonDreams] Russian Climate Delegate Apologizes for Assault on Ukraine

        A Russian climate delegate apologized to his Ukrainian counterparts and other government officials on Sunday for the ongoing and deadly invasion, which he decried as wholly unwarranted.

        "First of all, let me thank Ukraine and present an apology on behalf of all Russians who were not able to prevent this conflict," Oleg Anisimov, the head of Russia's delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said during a private virtual meeting.

      • [DemocracyNow] Bill McKibben on Dire IPCC Climate Report & How Oil and Gas Are Fueling Putin’s Ukraine Invasion

        We speak with climate author, journalist and movement leader Bill McKibben upon the release of the highly anticipated U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2022 report, which finds the impacts of the climate crisis are already worse than predicted, driving poverty, hunger, disease and species extinction. McKibben also speaks about how global dependency on oil and gas empowers autocrats like President Vladimir Putin and is helping fuel the Russian war in Ukraine. Renewable energy could help defeat fascism and deter some of “the worst people on Earth” if deployed at scale, he says.

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | Joe Manchin's Contempt for Poor People Continues

        As if killing the Child Tax Credit, blocking voting rights, gutting key climate legislation, and refusing living wages wasn't enough, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is now promoting legislation that further punishes the poor and marginalized. Along with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he's introduced the PIPES Act, which undercuts key harm-reduction funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. It arrives with a media campaign launched by Fox News and other conservative outlets pushing bogus claims that the Biden administration is using government funds to buy "crack pipes," tapping into a decades-long campaign to scapegoat vulnerable populations rather than address the root causes of the unconscionable conditions under which they live.

      • [TruthOut] Irreversible Impacts on the Climate Are Getting Locked In, IPCC Warns
      • [CommonDreams] SCOTUS Hears 'Dangerous Attack' on EPA Power to Curb Climate Pollution

        As global scientists on Monday reiterated the necessity of bold climate action, lawyers for coal companies and Republican-led states tried to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to strip the Biden administration of its authority to regulate planet-heating pollution from power plants.

        "The conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court is on the precipice of limiting EPA's ability to combat climate change and protect public health."

      • [DeSmog] IPCC Report Calls Out ‘Vested Interests’ Delaying Climate Action

        The UN’s expert climate science organization has criticised the “vested interests” obstructing efforts to cut emissions for the first time this week.

        The world’s leading climate scientists warned of the “irreversible” impacts of global warming in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), describing the window of opportunity to act as “brief and rapidly closing”.

      • Energy

        • [TheVerge] Bitcoin mining is ‘less green than ever’ after leaving China

          The new report shows that the Bitcoin boom is becoming a bigger problem for the world’s efforts to eliminate fossil fuel pollution. Mining bans, like the one China put in place last year, don’t seem to be very effective in curbing emissions, de Vries points out, because miners can easily find cheap, dirty energy elsewhere.

          Bitcoin currently has a carbon footprint comparable to the Czech Republic’s, according to de Vries’ estimate. The cryptocurrency generates so many greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to the super energy-hungry process of mining new coins. Miners essentially race to solve ever-more-complex puzzles in order to verify transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, receiving new coins as a reward. The hardware they use to solve those puzzles burns through vast amounts of electricity (and also adds to the world’s growing e-waste problem).

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • [TheRevelator] 20 Endangered Species at Risk in Ukraine
        • [CounterPunch] National Bird at Risk from Environmental Toxins

          Seattle’s Urban Raptor Conservancy is studying rodenticides in the city’s birds of prey, including€ bald eagles; they have found anticoagulants in almost all of the€ raptors tested to date. If the poisons do not directly kill a raptor (or other wildlife), they can€ weaken them and make them more susceptible€ to other causes of death. We need state and national legislators to act now to protect birds of prey from these poisons.

          Bald eagles, along with raptors like peregrine falcons, finally recovered from the impacts of DDT, which caused their eggshells to thin, preventing successful hatching of new chicks. After heeding warning calls from scientists like Rachel Carson, our country finally banned DDT, and bird populations began to recover. And to prevent lead poisoning, California€ passed legislation€ banning lead ammunition.

    • Finance

      • [CommonDreams] Opinion | What Biden Can Do Right Now to Build a More Equitable Economy

        President Joe Biden moved the date of the State of the Union from the traditional late-January period to March 1, with high hopes that by then he would have good news to share about his economic policy agenda.

      • [TruthOut] Poll Finds Most Voters Think Companies Are Exploiting Pandemic to Raise Prices
      • [TruthOut] Sanders Urges Tax on Windfall Oil Profits as Companies Exploit Ukraine Crisis
      • [CommonDreams] Critics Denounce Racist Double Standard of Western Media's Ukraine Coverage

        The Arab and Middle€ Eastern Journalists Association on Sunday was among those criticizing coverage from major international news outlets which suggested the Ukrainian people are more worthy of sympathy than victims of other military conflicts in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere outside of Europe.

        Standing "in full solidarity with all civilians under military assault in any part of the world," AMEJA listed a number of comments made by correspondents for CBS News, Al Jazeera English, The Telegraph, and French news network BFM TV in which Ukrainians under attack were referred to as "civilized" and "prosperous," with some remarking that the civilians look like an unidentified "us."

      • [CommonDreams] Poll Shows Majority of US Voters Blame Corporate Profiteering for Inflation

        New polling results published Monday show that a majority of U.S. voters see corporate profiteering as a key driver of inflation and support a federal crackdown on companies that are "unfairly" pushing costs onto consumers.

        "Policymakers should listen to voters by cracking down on corporations raising prices unfairly."

      • [ProPublica] When Billionaires Don’t Pay Taxes, People “Lose Faith in Democracy”

        Last year, ProPublica began publishing “The Secret IRS Files,” a series that has used a vast trove of never-before-seen tax information on the wealthiest Americans to examine their tax avoidance maneuvers.

        Since then, the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress have been trying to close loopholes in the code and raise taxes on the rich to fund their legislative priorities. But the efforts have stalled, amid claims by Republicans that tax increases on billionaires would “destroy investment in America and punish success in America” and resistance from key Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin, who called such a plan divisive, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has opposed tax increases more broadly.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • [TheNation] Talking Union at Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

        “For those of you who I have not had the chance to meet, I use he/him pronouns and I’m speaking to you today from the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples.”

      • [CounterPunch] Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-Point Anti-Worker Plan for America

        It is unclear why he did this. Congressional Republicans should waltz easily to an easy victory this November thanks to it being a mid-term election, coupled with an ongoing pandemic, high inflation, and the Democrats inability to accomplish much of what they promised their voters.

        Not surprisingly, Scott’s plan is the same old rehashed culture war mumbo jumbo. There is nothing in the plan that will actually improve the lives of working men and women, and much that will hurt the poor especially if they also happen to be gay, trans, Hispanic, or if they rely on federal programs.

      • [CounterPunch] The Situation in Haiti, 1995: an Interview with Paul Farmer, MD

        Paul Farmer runs a clinic in rural Haiti, where tuberculosis is the leading cause of death (and has been for centuries). He is 35. With his wire-rimmed glasses and radiant intelligence, he resembles a taller, thinner Elvis Costello. He was born in Massachusetts, grew up in Florida. There were six kids and the family residence was a bus. Farmer went to Harvard Medical School, and is now on the clinical faculty there. He has an arrangement that lets him spend eight months of the year working in Haiti.

        The following paragraph is the abstract (summary preceding a scientific paper) of the talk Farmer gave at the conference.

      • [TheVerge] Facebook blocks RT and Sputnik pages in the EU

        Sputnik across the European Union, the company said Monday. The change means that the RT and Sputnik pages aren’t visible in the EU on Facebook and Instagram, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone tells The Verge.

        “We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media,” Nick Clegg, the company’s newly-named president of global affairs, said Monday on Twitter. “Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.”

      • [TheHill] Teen who tracked Elon Musk's plane launches Russian Oligarch Jets account

        Jack Sweeney, the teenager who made headlines tracking Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s private plane, has launched another Twitter account that tracks planes of Russian oligarchs amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

      • [Joinup] European Commissioner outlines priorities

        The Commissioner touched on several topics in his speech, starting from highlighting how important open source is within the Commission itself: 75% of all hosts in the European Commission’s data centres run on Linux, open source can be found throughout the institution and is being leveraged for reaching the Commission's goals whenever software is involved. Hahn also noted that open source has a geopolitical value and can contribute to increasing the EU's technological sovereignty.

        The Commission’s Open Source Software Strategy, announced in 2020, aims at creating an open source culture and is prompting new open source initiatives in the institution. Those include the launch of the European Commission’s Open Source Program Office last year, introduction of the new rules making distribution of open source software easier for the institution’s developers and the plans to launch an external repository that will allow sharing the Commission’s code. Commissioner Hahn also pinpointed that the Commission intends to be a key player in the open source community and that in order to increase open source security, different actors throughout the Member States have to join forces.

      • [TheEconomist] Russians in every major city and region call for #nowar

        To assess the geographical extent of this opposition, The Economist constructed a dataset of 51,773 unique posts from Twitter and Instagram that used the hashtag. Of these we were able to identify the geographic location of 7,120, of which 3,495 were marked as posted from within Russia. We found anti-war posts coming from Russia’s 50 largest cities, across all 11 time zones and in 83 out of 85 federal subjects (ie, regions, such as oblasts and republics). Abroad, the Russian-language hashtag was found in 91 other countries, including Ukraine, Belarus, America and China.

      • [BroadbandBreakfast] Starlink Lights Up Ukraine, Russians Offered Crypto to Surrender, Broadband Playbook Released

        “As soon as soldiers with military equipment surrender, they receive money [and] amnesty – after the trial. But the main thing is that they can give up right now and get money right now,” Efrosinina wrote in her post.

      • [TheNation] The Vindication of Stormy Daniels

        The judge ruled against Daniels, but not necessarily because he thought she could not be defamed, and not because he thought her allegations against Trump weren’t verifiable (an essential element in proving defamation). Instead, he determined that Trump’s lie was protected speech because it was merely “rhetorical hyperbole which has traditionally added much to the discourse of the United States.” Absurdly, he also defined Daniels as a “political adversary,” citing as precedent a case in which a candidate for the Texas Senate unsuccessfully sued his opponent for defamation, as the court found the attack ad materials insufficiently defamatory in the context of a rhetorically charged campaign. By this logic, the president of the United States and a previously obscure pornographic actress were equals in the public arena. Therefore, the judge reasoned, Daniels had failed to meet the burden of proof for showing that Trump tweeted with “actual malice,” and, furthermore, holding him to account for the lie “would significantly hamper the office of the President.”

        By speaking up and refusing to be slandered as a liar by the president, Daniels apparently disqualified herself from personhood, becoming a political actor, thus entitling her to less protection.

      • [ThePhiladelphiaInquirer] Thinking of boycotting Russian vodka? Not too many brands are actually made there.

        All told, these Russian products represent a mere fraction of the PLCB’s sales — less than $1.1 million (about 0.06%) out of more than $1.7 billion of total spirit sales over the last 52 weeks, Kelly said.

        A Russian name does not a Russian vodka make.

        Take Stoli. Though Stolichnaya is a historically Russian brand and is made at least partly from Russian wheat, almost all of the Stoli sold in the West is made in Latvia. (The former Soviet republic also happens to be a NATO member.) It’s owned by a company in Luxembourg that is controlled by Yuri Shefler, a Russian-born billionaire who left Russia during a tiff with the Kremlin.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • [NPR] Facebook uncovers disinformation and [cracking] campaigns targeting Ukraine

        The two separate campaigns were both small in scale and caught in the early stages, the company said.

      • [LRT] Intelligence warns of pro-Kremlin propaganda in Lithuania, watchdog may ban Russian channels

        Lithuania's State Security Department (VSD) has warned that "pro-Kremlin propagandists" could be conducting activities in Lithuania. Meanwhile, the country's media watchdog is considering to revoke broadcasting licenses of some Russian TV channels.

      • [Axios] Meta removed two disinformation campaigns targeting Ukraine

        The second influence operation, uncovered in the past several days, was identified by Meta as the work of a coordinated [cracking] group tracked by the security community. The group, known to security researchers as Ghostwriter, has been linked to Russia.

      • [Variety] Netflix Declines to Carry Russian Propaganda Channels

        Netflix won’t carry the 20 Russian free-to-air propaganda channels that they could be required to host under Russian law.

        In December 2021, Netflix was added by the Russian regulator, Roskomnadzor, to its register for audiovisual services because the SVOD reached over 100,000 subscribers. Consequently, Netflix is theoretically required as part of a law — known locally as the Vitrina TV law — to distribute 20 “must-carry” free-to-air Russian news, sports and entertainment TV channels.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • [RSF] Pakistan must stop censoring TV commentator Hamid Mir, RSF says

        Nine months after leading Pakistani TV journalist and commentator Hamid Mir was forced off the air, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its local partner, Freedom Network Pakistan (FNPK), urge the government to end its silence about this censorship and tell Geo News he can resume hosting his show.

      • Oxford Pro Bono Publico releases its report on the Regulation of Digital Media and Intermediaries

        To assist in ongoing challenges to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, we reached out to the Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP) - a research centre at the Oxford University Faculty of Law. We requested specific research on laws in other countries about the regulation of social media platforms, digital news media and OTT platforms. OPBP has published their research report in December 2021, about the laws in other jurisdictions.

      • Psychological and Emotional War: Digital Transnational Repression in Canada - The Citizen Lab

        The efforts of authoritarian states to suppress dissent are not territorially limited. Over the past few years, there have been many notable cases of transnational repression—states applying repressive policies to silence or coerce nationals located outside their territorial borders—including the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey,1 the assassination of Rwandan opposition members and dissidents in South Africa and elsewhere,2 and the harassment and intimidation of Chinese dissidents in Canada and the United States.3 While transnational repression is not a new phenomenon, such tactics are expanding through the market growth for digital technologies and the spread of Internet-connectivity, among other factors.4 This digital dimension of transnational repression—which we refer to as digital transnational repression—is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of ‘everyday’ transnational repression and is a threat to the rights and freedoms of dissidents and activists living in exile.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • [ForeignPolicy] Pakistan’s New Media Crackdown Threatens Press Freedom

        Pakistani journalists say the country’s “hybrid” civilian-military establishment is behind many of the recent attacks on journalists and has effectively silenced coverage that does not portray the army and the ISI in a positive light. Without a free media, they say, Pakistan’s democracy is being driven toward military dictatorship.

      • [DeutscheWelle] Pegasus spyware owner NSO sues Israeli newspaper
      • [RSF] Journalists must not be targeted during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

        As frontline witnesses of the Russian invasion, reporters run the risk of being hit by the missile strikes and shelling taking place throughout the country. Some regional correspondents fear being surrounded and not being able to escape. Others would like to be evacuated but find themselves stranded, like many civilians, particularly in the eastern city of Kharkiv and southern city of Kherson.

        In addition to the Ukrainian journalists, more than 1,000 foreign correspondents have been on the ground in Ukraine in recent days, according to figures provided the Ukrainian military, which issues accreditations.

      • [RSF] RSF alarmed by hostility towards journalists covering protests in Canada

        Alarmed by the mistreatment of journalists in Ottawa, Canada, where reporters have suffered hostile treatment, access denials, serious threats, and physical abuse, while covering the “Freedom Convoy” protests, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on authorities to end these abuses swiftly and ensure the safety of journalists on the field.

      • [VOANews] Moscow Warns Russian Media Over War Coverage

        The regulator, Roskomnadzor, issued letters to at least 10 media outlets, including Novaya Gazeta, run by Nobel Peace laureate Dmitry Muratov, and Current Time, a Russian-language digital news network led by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA.

        On Monday, Russia blocked access to Current Time and RFE/RL’s Crimea.Realities website, in an apparent response to them not complying with the order, RFE/RL confirmed to VOA.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • [DemocracyNow] In the Footsteps of Constance Motley Brown, Supreme Court Pick Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History

        President Biden on Friday nominated federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s pending vacancy. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. We speak with Harvard constitutional law professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin about the nomination of the 51-year-old federal judge and the parallels between her and the first Black woman federal judge and civil rights legal icon Constance Baker Motley, who was at one point eyed for a Supreme Court nomination.

      • [TheNation] Family Lawyers Are Disappearing in Rural New York

        Greene County, a rural stretch of central New York, is home to few lawyers—and even fewer who take on time-consuming and emotionally wrenching child welfare cases. So Monica Kenny-Keff, who runs a solo family law practice in Catskill, not far from where she grew up in the village of Tannersville, often juggles an unmanageable number of clients. Her clients are poor: Nearly all rely on the county’s indigent defense system to provide free counsel. This story was published in partnership with€ New York Focus, an independent, investigative news site covering New York state and city politics. Sign up for their newsletter€ here.

      • [TheNation] The Spectacular Fall of Honduras’s Juan Orlando Hernandez

        “The party is over!” Juan Orlando Hernandez said to applause during his 2014 inauguration speech. Hernandez—a hard-line conservative elected president of Honduras in November 2013—was promising to end drug-related violence in his country. The new president, known as JOH, thundered, “I will do what I have to do to reclaim the peace and tranquility of my people.”

      • [Techdirt] Another Victim Of The GDPR & CCPA: Security Researchers No Longer Can Get Anonymous Access To Internet Attack Data

        We’ve pointed out before that we’re generally bad at regulating privacy because we don’t understand privacy. All of the regulations around privacy seem to treat a set of information as “special” that must be locked up and hidden. However, as we’ve pointed out over and over again, privacy is actually a set of trade-offs, and in some situations, certain information should be shared, and in others not. But it requires an awful lot of context — and no privacy regulations that I’ve seen seem to take that context question into account. Because of that we end up with nonsensical results that often do more harm than good.

      • [Techdirt] Australian Law Enforcement Now Forcing Service Providers To Grant Access To Data And Content

        We all know the term “football,” but our definitions vary greatly. For those in the United States, it’s a sport that delivers beer ads and concussions with similar frequency. For most of the rest of the world, it’s a sport that delivers riots and tie scores with similar frequency. In Australia, the definition doesn’t necessarily follow the description. “Football” is still “soccer,” but the sport most resembling football is called “rugby.” And that sport’s resemblance to American football is negligible at best. Rugby most resembles competing gangs of muggers fighting over an overvalued football-esque ball with the intent of securing it and doing things that somehow cause points to happen.

      • [Techdirt] Delta Airlines, Washington Post Call For The Federal Government To Create A No-Fly List For Unruly Passengers

        We already have enough problems with the no-fly lists we already have. No due process. No effective way to challenge placement on the list. No real oversight of the means and methods used to “nominate” Americans and visiting foreigners into flightlessness.

      • [TheNation] What Is Fueling Our Century’s Global “Disorder”?

        Much has been written about the political disruptions of the last decade, one marked by Brexit, Donald Trump’s election, and the rise of China. Despite the global forces at play, the standard explanations for the rise of populist nationalism and a growing authoritarianism typically cast blame on a handful of causes. One school of thought sees them as a reaction to the 2008 economic crash, which led to the breakdown of the purported liberal international order. Others place the blame on a dysfunctional system of political representation in which the elites have shown themselves to be too out-of-touch and disconnected from “the people.” Still others believe that today’s liberals have failed to prioritize the real reason behind liberalism’s decline: the illiberal enemies undermining and destroying it. Yet in her new book, Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century, Helen Thompson, a professor of political economy at Cambridge University, argues that these views are too simplistic and ahistorical for understanding the complexities of today’s new political realities.

      • [TheNation] Let’s Talk About the Taking of Black Land

        In 1825, John and Elizabeth Whitehead divided their Manhattan farmland into 200 lots and began selling it off. I know it’s hard to imagine Manhattan as ever having farmland, but “the city” remained densely clustered on the southern tip of the island well into the 19th century.1 Coming to a bookstore near you: This article is an excerpt from Elie Mystal’s forthcoming book, Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution, to be published by the New Press on March 1.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Russell Coker: SAGE (ITPA) Spam

        In 2008 I joined SAGE (the System Administrators’ Guild of Australia). It was a professional society for people doing sysadmin work (running computer servers). I quit when I found that the level of clue was lower than hoped and that members used the code of ethics as nothing but a way to score points in online debates. After quitting SAGE kept emailing me and wouldn’t respect my request to be removed from all lists so I had to block their mail server.

        SAGE has in recent times changed it’s name to ITPA (Information Technology Professionals Association) and is still sending me email. I’ve just sent yet another unsubscribe request.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • [TorrentFreak] UK-Based CDN Company Datacamp Sued For Hosting Pirate IPTV Services

          UK-based CDN company DataCamp is being targeted in a $32.5 million copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the US by DISH Network. According to the broadcaster, DataCamp's CDN service is used by a large number of pirate IPTV providers that the company failed to disconnect under a reasonable repeat infringer policy.

        • [TorrentFreak] Kanye West's Exclusive 'Donda 2' Release Triggers Piracy Craze

          Fans who want to listen to Kanye West's latest album "Donda 2" need to have deep pockets. Legal access to the tracks is only possible with the Stem Player, a $200 audio device. However, as is often the case when access is restricted, pirates quickly find a way to make content available for free, which in this case resulted in a piracy surge.

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